Want to help shape the future of California journalism by mentoring a new, diverse generation of reporters? The CalMatters College Journalism Network seeks an experienced editor who can work with our student reporters to craft compelling stories about how higher education policy affects students across California. 

CalMatters, launched seven years ago, is an award-winning nonprofit, nonpartisan news venture dedicated to explaining the policy and politics of America’s biggest state and the world’s fifth largest economy. We produce vivid, original journalism and data-driven news analyses and watchdog reporting that’s distributed to more than 250 media partners on calmatters.org and NPR partners statewide.

Launched in 2020, the College Journalism Network is known for its innovative, collaborative reporting model. We cover higher education from the ground up, while providing paid training to the fellows, particularly those from backgrounds underrepresented in newsrooms. Our students have broken news on everything from the lack of diversity within campus police forces to disparities in colleges’ Covid vaccination and testing policies. You’ll report to our College Journalism Network editor as part of a three-person team that also includes a program manager. 

Here’s what we’re looking for:

A capable and insightful editor with experience in both long- and short-form journalism, who can help take our student fellows’ work from good to outstanding. Can you whittle down a 3,000-word opus to a pithy 1,500 words? Talk a student through an encounter with a nervous source or a quest for public records? You should be well-versed in the possibilities of digital media; bonus points for multimedia skills (audio, video, data, graphics), investigative reporting chops and/or experience working with student journalists.

Someone knowledgeable about higher education, ideally in California, and willing to mine your network of contacts for reporting leads and training opportunities for our fellows.

A strong believer in elevating student voices, within both our coverage and the mini-newsroom we are building. Our reporting process is collective, driven by the fellows’ interests and expertise about their own campuses. We’re looking for an empathetic player-coach who will help build the CJN community and serve as a mentor for our fellows, many of whom are students of color and/or the first in their families to attend college.

Someone familiar with California’s diverse communities and committed to telling stories that reflect those communities, while supporting an internal culture of equity and inclusion.

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Run 1-2 small teams of student reporters — hosting weekly meetings, developing story ideas and coaching fellows through the reporting process
  • Edit stories produced by your team(s) and other fellows in the network, packaging them and publishing them in our WordPress system
  • Help set editorial direction for the network in collaboration with the CJN editor and program manager
  • Mentor fellows, ensuring that they are on track to reach their goals and feel supported
  • Work with CalMatters’ data, graphics, photography and social media teams to produce the best presentations for the biggest audiences
  • Help plan training for fellows in higher education policy; California politics; reporting, writing and production skills; and navigating the news industry. Identify relevant topics and communicate with guest speakers.
  • Pitch in with other duties related to building the network. These may include recruiting new fellows, contributing reporting to our stories and/or appearing in public to discuss our work.

This position may be based anywhere in California, with occasional visits to our Sacramento office as conditions allow.

Compensation and Benefits:

The base salary for this position is $80,000 per year; higher compensation may be available for someone with advanced skills and/or experience. 

CalMatters offers a complete benefits package with medical, dental and vision insurance (we cover 90% of the cost for employees and 70% for dependents) from a range of HMO and PPO providers. We’ll match contributions of up to 4% of your salary to our 401(k) program, provide life insurance at no cost, and give you an allowance for personal use of your cell phone and a budget for professional development opportunities like classes and conferences.

We are an expanding and collaborative newsroom, successfully forging a new model for sustainable, intelligent, nonprofit journalism. We’re committed to reflecting the people of the state we serve and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. If you’re interested, please provide a resume, a cover letter that outlines how you would approach the job, and links to at least six online samples of your work.

If you have trouble with this form or prefer to apply by email, write to jobs@calmatters.org with the job title in the subject line.